Debtbusters campaign launched in Leigh to cap crippling loan rates
7:30am Wednesday 6th March 2013 in North West
OVER 500 people signed the 'Debtbusters' petition' which was launched on Saturday to make people aware of alternative sources to loan sharks.
The borough-wide campaign got off the ground in Bradshawgate, Leigh where shoppers learned how affordable loans, free help and advice is available through the Borough’s Credit Unions and Citizens Advice Bureau.
The campaign launch comes against a background of growing statistics that demonstrate the impact of debt on UK households. The Office of Budget Responsibility sets out how household debt is set to rise by 36.3% in the next three years and predicts by 2015 UK households will have amassed over two trillion pounds worth of debt.
Labour and Cooperative Councillor for Astley-Mosley Common Jo Platt said: “Over the past couple of years legal loan sharks have proliferated in our area and the tough financial times means more and more people are turning to them and the extortionate loans which they offer.
“This motion sends a message that Wigan Council is serious about supporting our residents who are facing financial hardship. We support the introduction of a limit to cap the amount these companies can charge for loans, and we are committing to doing what we can locally to support responsible lending and discourage the loan sharks.”
Leigh MP Andy Burnham MP said: “A toxic mix of the rising cost of living, unemployment and wage freezes mean many Leigh households are struggling and a lack of regulation of this market means these legal loan sharks are exploiting this to push many families further into debt.
“With one in three payday loans taken out to pay off other payday loans it is clear these high cost credit products are problematic.”
Similar campaign launches took place in Ashton-in-Makerfield and Wigan.